This week’s TTT …books we read, loved, but didn’t review.
The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs. This book completely revolutionized my worldview before I made halfway through. One day I’ll make some meager attempt at reviewing it, but it won’t be sufficient.
Unnatural Selection: How We are Changing Life, Gene By Gene, Emily Monosson. Captivating survey of how nature is adapting to some of humanity’s worst behaviors. Cautious grounds for optimism that nature will continue to survive despite its badly-behaving tenants.
The Age of Absurdity: Why Modern Life Makes it Hard to be Happy, Michael Foley. I was introduced to this by Cyberkitten, and read it in 2011 It’s at my bedside. I’ve read it three times over the years and am no closer to finding an approach to reviewing it that I like — and I like the book too much to simply dismiss it with an also-read mention.
The Once and Future King, F.H. Buckley. On the rebirth of one-man rule in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the commonwealth countries. Fascinating comparative legal review. I have a review of it long-written, but I keep meaning to re-read the book to fine-tune my thoughts about it.
Brave New World: India, China, and the United States, Anja Manuel. I often cite it but have yet to re-read it for a review. Manuel evaluates the progress and growing influence of India and China in the 21st century, and argues that the US should chart a course that favors neither power over the other.
The Roots of American Order, Russell Kirk. My first encounter with Kirk was his The Conservative Mind, which I found thought provoking — I’ve since read several of Kirk’s work, Order among them, but this is the most memorable. Kirk examines the philosophical and moral underpinnings of American governance; Judaism and Stoicism were two of the sources considered, as I remember.
The Way of Men, Jack Donovan. Imagine if Tyler Durden wrote a book …
The Evolution of Everything, Matt Ridley. On emergent order. It’s a deep-topic, and I don’t know that I could do it justice.
The Mind of the Market, Michael Shermer. I read this in 2018, but I must have been distracted — I didn’t even remember to add it to that year’s “What I Read” list!
The Tell Tale Brain, V.S. Ramachandran. Ramachandran’s Phantoms in the Brain (read 2006) was one of the first science books to blow my mind, and I was eager to read this one. Despite finishing it soon after release, though, I never got around to reviewing it!
There is hope for these books to be reviewed: over the years, Happy City, Surprised by Joy, and The Cult of the Presidency are all titles which languished unreviewed for years until I did right by them.